Daw Mu Htan, belongs to the Kayan tribe known for their neck rings and silver jewelry. Now in her 70s, she is one of the last traditional artisans in the five-village cluster of Pan Phet in Kayah State, Myanmar. She still knows how to work with thick bronze wire to form the iconic neck coils which are the hallmark of the Kayan women. As a jewelry maker, she also produces traditional and contemporary pieces such as necklaces, bracelets and finger rings. She has been certified by the International Trade Center (ITC) in Loikaw as one of the official visitor hosts of the community based tourism program launched in her village. Since she has no apprentices, she is one of the last of her kind in her community. She has nine children and 27 grandchildren and is full of cheer when showing off her jewelry making-skills to guests from far and near.
“I never thought that so many visitors are interested in my craft and I am happy to demonstrate my skills, despite my old age. The income I make from selling jewelry helps me support my children and grandchildren.”